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Our Leadership

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Alİ Ülker

Chair

Ali Ülker was born in 1969 and educated in the Business Administration Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He has also attended various programs at IMD and Harvard. He worked in the Internal Kaizen Projects at De Boccard & Yorke Consultancy (1992) and on IESC Sales System Development and Internal Organization Projects (1997).

Mr Ülker joined the group in 1985 as an intern in the Quality Control Department of Ülker Gıda. From 1986 to 1998 he worked at chocolate production facilities and at Atlas Gıda Pazarlama in positions including Sales Manager, Sales Coordinator, Product Group Coordinator, and Product Group Director.

In 1998 Mr Ülker became General Director of Atlas Gıda Pazarlama, and in 2001 became the General Director of Merkez Gıda Pazarlama. In 2002, he rose to Vice Chairman of the Food Group and in 2005 Chairman of the Group. After worked as Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors for nine years, as of January 29, 2020 Ali Ülker became the Chair of Yıldız Holding.

Ali Ülker is married with three children. He enjoys fishing, cinema and literature, as well as playing basketball and billiards.

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Murat Ülker

Member of the Board of Directors

Murat Ülker was born in 1959. He graduated from the Management Department of the School of Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.

Mr Ülker studied sector-specific subjects at international schools such as the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS), serving an internship at American company Continental Baking. In three years, he visited nearly 60 biscuit, chocolate and food factories in the United States and Europe. He also worked on various projects for the International Executive Service Corps (IESC).

Mr Ülker joined Yıldız Holding in 1984 as a Control Coordinator. Over the following years he assumed the roles of Assistant General Manager, and then General Director. As a member of the Executive Committee and a Board Member of various companies in the group, he led a series of cornerstone investments.

In 2000 Mr Ülker became Chairman of the Executive Committee, serving as Chairman for eight years. In 2008 he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. As of January 29, 2020, Ülker continues to take an active role in companies affiliated to the holding as a Member of the Board.

Mr Ülker is known for his interest in modern art and Islamic calligraphy. He enjoys sailing and travelling with his wife and three children.


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Mehmet Tütüncü

Vice Chairman - CEO

Born in 1958, he received his master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has attended several training courses in many different areas throughout his professional career. In 1987, he took a training course in Business Management for 6 months in Italy on an IRI Scholarship. He has attended a training course in Strategic Marketing at Harvard Business School and IMD Switzerland. Also, he completed the Insead program in Singapore.

Between 1983 and 1987 he worked at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and from 1987 to 1996, he held various positions in Best Rothmans Entegre Sigara ve Tütün Sanayi A.Ş, such as General Manager.

In 1996, Mehmet Tütüncü joined Ülker Gıda A.Ş. and served as a business coordinator until 1998. Following, he worked as General Manager and Vice President of the Ülker Group. In May 2005, he was appointed as Yıldız Holding A.Ş.’s Food Group President. In 2011 he was appointed as the Food-Ülker Group President and in 2014, he had additional responsibility as International Food-Ülker Group President.

In 2016, he was appointed as pladis Region CEO, Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. He continues to serve as Deputy to the pladis CEO (responsible for TR, ME, NA, CA, SA, LATAM) and Executive Corporate Officer (Information Systems & Business Transformation) with additional responsibilities he took in 2017. In 2018, he was appointed as Vice Chairman and CEO of Yıldız Holding. Additionally, he serves as a Board Member and Chairman of the Board at several companies. He is also the Board Member of FoodDrinkEurope & President of the Liaison Committee of FoodDrinkEurope.

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İbrahim Taşkın

Global Head of Legal Affairs – Member of the Board of Directors

Born in 1963, İbrahim Taşkın had his elementary school education in Trabzon and Artvin, completed high school in İstanbul, then graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Law in 1986.

Called to the İstanbul Bar, Mr. Taşkın started his career in 1989 as a self-employed lawyer and completed his 30th year in the profession as of 2019. Also giving academic lectures since 1990, he taught Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Law of Criminal Procedure, Disciplinary Law, and Police Force Legislation at Florya Police Training Center of the Turkish National Police. In addition to professional experience, he assumed senior-level responsibilities in politics between 1996-2004.

Attaching importance to the NGOs as well as his legal and academic career, İbrahim Taşkın took part in a number of NGOs either as a founder or manager. The foundations and associations he contributed as a founder include “Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation”, “Consumer and Environment Education Foundation”, “Foundation for the Expansion of Knowledge”, and “Ülker Members Association”.

Acting as a Board Member in many Group companies in addition to Yıldız Holding Board Membership, İbrahim Taşkın is also a Council Member at İstanbul Chamber of Industry, a delegate at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, and a member of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association.

Having joined Yıldız Holding in 2004, İbrahim Taşkın assumed the responsibilities of Legal Advisor and then General Manager of Legal Affairs before his appointment as Global Head of Legal Affairs in 2016. Mr. Taşkın is also the chairman of the Group’s global Ethics and Integrity Board, Food Safety Board, Regulations and Corporate Transactions. İbrahim Taşkın is also responsible for coordinating the Holding’s relations with public institutions, NGOs, and universities. Mr. Taşkın has a good command of English. He is married with 4 children.


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Gökhan İzmirli

Global Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management – Member of the Board of Directors

Gökhan İzmirli graduated from Bilkent University Department of Management and got his MBA degree at Sabancı University Department of Business Administration.

Having started his career as an Auditor at KPMG in 1998, Mr. İzmirli then worked as a Financial Coordination Manager at Akbank between 2003 and 2007. After joining Anadolu Endüstri Holding in 2007 as the Holding’s Internal Audit Manager, he assumed the responsibility of managing the Internal Audits of International Operations of Efes Group in Moscow in 2011-2012. Appointed as Coca-Cola İçecek Internal Audit Director of 10 countries in the region covering Turkey, Central Asia and Middle East in 2013, he also acted as an Executive Board Member.

Having joined Yıldız Holding in 2018, Gökhan İzmirli is currently the Holding’s Global Director of Internal Audit and Risk Management, as well as a Board Member. He is married with a child.

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Yahya Ülker

Member of the Board of Directors

Yahya Ülker graduated from Koç University Department of Management in 2016 and assumed various responsibilities at London-based Kantar Agency, Switzerland-based biscuit producer Kambly SA, and Credit Suisse banking institution. 

Having started his career at Yıldız Holding in 2018 at the Holding’s innovation company Northstar, Yahya Ülker acted in cooperation with universities and the industry and played active role in implementing innovation projects that the Holding considers as an investment in the future. 

Following his appointment as Yıldız Holding Board Member, he took part in devising the Holding’s digital strategy. In 2019, he founded Yıldız Ventures and currently leads the teams working on incubating internal initiatives in industries that add value to the Holding’s strategy and on supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem.  

Founder of Yıldız Ventures and Yıldız Holding Board Member Yahya Ülker is married with a child.


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Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi

Member of the Board of Directors

Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi graduated from Marmara University Department of Business Management (English) in 1993. She received her MBA degree from Germany. She began her career at Arthur Andersen in 1993 and then started working at Accenture. Ziyal Afridi conducted restructuring, strategy, and transformation projects for her clients from various industries. Having joined Yıldız Holding in 2006 by establishing and leading the Corporate Strategy department, Nurtaç Afridi played a key role in Yıldız Holding’s transformation into a global Turkish company with more than 300 brands available in over 120 countries. She managed domestic and international acquisitions, mergers, company sales, IPOs, and strategic projects at Yıldız Holding between 2010 and 2020. In 2014, she successfully managed the acquisition of United Biscuits which included such international brands as McVitie’s, Carr’s, Jacobs, and BN under its roof and contributed to Yıldız Holding’s growth in global markets. She also spearheaded GODIVA’s transformation and licensing deals for GODIVA in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

Having assumed the role of GODIVA’s global CEO in December 2020, Nurtaç Afridi is also a member of the GODIVA Board. In this role, she drove an extensive transformation that led to GODIVA’s growth in global markets. Afridi leads all the elements of the GODIVA transformation, including extending channels of distribution, driving product innovation, expanding marketing and licensing, creating an integrated supply chain, and empowering GODIVA's people. In addition to her outstanding contributions to both Yıldız Holding and its global brand GODIVA, Nurtaç Afridi was appointed as a Yıldız Holding Board Member as of April 2022.